March 31, 1917 - March 24, 2002
Dorothy DeLay, whose students are among the most famous performers and
teachers working around the world, died yesterday morning (Sunday, March
24) at her home in Upper Nyack, New York, after a more-than yearlong
battle with cancer. She would have been 85 years old on March 31. Miss
DeLay, as she preferred to be called, began her distinguished career as
a teacher at The Juilliard School in 1948. She first came to Aspen in
1970 where she nurtured many of the world’s most beloved performers each
summer as part of the Aspen Music School.
She has been described as the world’s foremost teacher of the violin by
publications as disparate as The New York Times, France’s Le Monde de la
Musique, and South Africa’s Die Volksblad. More than just a teacher of
the violin, she frequently also was mentor, confidant, career advisor,
concert fashion consultant, and even surrogate mother. Among her
students are many celebrated performers, including Itzhak Perlman,
Cho-Liang Lin, Anne Akiko Meyers, Nadia SalernoSonnenberg, Shlomo Mintz,
Nigel Kennedy, Robert McDuffie, Sarah Chang, Mark Kaplan, Rachel Lee,
Midori, Gil Shaham, and Kyoko Takezawa. Violinists of the Juilliard,
Tokyo, Cleveland, American, Takács, Mendelssohn, Blair, Fine Arts, and
Vermeer String Quartets studied with her. She taught concertmasters of
the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal
Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Chicago Symphony, and many
other major orchestras the world over. Numerous other former students
teach at outstanding conservatories in the United States and abroad,
including the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Don Roth, President of the Aspen Music Festival and School stated today
that, "Miss DeLay’s impact on the musical world is immeasurable. Her
impact on the Aspen Music Festival and School is more than any of us
could have imagined."
Hal Laster, Dean of the Aspen Music School and a colleague of Miss
DeLay’s since 1976 both in Aspen and at the University of Cincinnati
College-Conservatory of Music remembered of Miss Delay that "she often
said that she taught because in the process of teaching she learned.
This love of learning was part of the legacy she left to all her
students and what made her so very inspiring. Her pedagogical influence
was felt throughout the Aspen Music School."
"Dorothy DeLay was a legend and her pupils are legion," stated Aspen
Music Festival and School Music Director David Zinman. "When she came
to Aspen she changed the whole emphasis of the School, and because of
her many of the greatest artists of our day are a part of the Aspen
Music Festival experience. This is a great loss for us, a great loss
for the world of music, and for me personally, I will miss her very
Born in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, on March 31, 1917, Dorothy DeLay
attended Oberlin College, Michigan State University, and what was then
called The Juilliard Graduate School before beginning a concert career.
That career was interrupted by World War II when her husband, writer
Edward Newhouse (a regular contributor to the New Yorker for 30 years)
was transferred to a series of Air Force bases. After the war, they
settled in Rockland County, New York, where they still lived.
In addition to her husband, Dorothy DeLay is survived by two children,
daughter Alison Dinsmore from Boston, and a son Jeffrey Newhouse from
Bronxville, NY; and four grandchildren, Molly and Susannah Dinsmore and
Amy Lee and Edward Newhouse.
The family has requested that instead of flowers, contributions be made
to the Dorothy DeLay Fellowship Fund at the Aspen Music Festival and
School or to the Dorothy DeLay Scholarship in Violin at The Juilliard
No funeral is planned, but a memorial service will be scheduled for
later this spring at The Juilliard School, and a memorial concert will
be presented in Aspen in early August.
Sun Mar 31 2002 (2:08:41 PM)